Renowrites blog!

Author of YA novel "Enlightenment" available March 2019!

Self-publishing: Changing Model, Getting Respect?

There was a recent article at Publisher’s Weekly written by Ann Byle about the current status of self-publishing in the industry.

Self-publishing: Changing Model, Getting Respect.

What does everyone out there think? Is self-publishing really starting to get respect? I’m not quite so sure. I brought up self-publishing to a published author┬árecently and she gave me a look and said, “That’s a route you can go if you choose to.”

The look she gave me was the most telling on how she felt. She’s found success going the traditional route, so I guess she may be biased, but I believe she’s not alone. I believe that many authors still hold a negative bias towards self-publishing. I can’t really blame them – many of the self-published books I’ve read (or tried to read) have major editing issues. I can’t remember a recent self-published book that I’ve read from beginning to end.

But the opportunity that self-publishing provides can’t be ignored. Authors have to champion their books more than ever, even through a traditional publisher. I believe the lines between self-published and traditional are more blurred than at anytime in the history of the publishing industry. Book stores continue to downsize and large publishers are looking for money-making titles; it’s a longshot that any debut author will be an instant success.

Publishers would rather sign celebrities to book deals because it mitigates the risk of losing money since a celebrity already has a following. I cringed when I heard pop star Justin Bieber got a book deal to publish his memoirs. The dude’s only sixteen years old! And he’s publishing a memoir! From a publishers perpective, it’s pure genius. This kid has millions of fans who would probably line up to buy his book. Cha-ching for Harper Collins!

I did smile at the announcement of Betty White’s two book deal with G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of the Penguin Group. She’s paid her dues at 88 years-old, and let’s be frank…how can you not love Betty White? ┬áBut Justin Bieber? Shouldn’t he wait until he’s at least twenty-one years old to publish a memoir?

It’ll be interesting to see where the self-publishing debate stands a year from now. Will the lines be more blurred? Will there be a self-published book on the NY Times best-sellers list? Will there be another J.A. Konrath to talk about?

For now, I’ll continue to write in the cave hoping for the best.

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